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Guest puzzled

Naive question, but what's the point?

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Guest puzzled

I mean no offence, but can anyone help me gain an insight into what geocaching offers over and above using a map and compass?

I own a GPS, but the skills in mapreading and the the wealth of resources behind it are surely more subtle than following a direction pointer. If the challenge is overcoming obstacles or visiting remote places then why not take up climbing (for example) in it's own right?

I agree that it may help draw some people to the outdoors, which is a good thing, but there is a risk losing skills on which navigation depends, or worse of encouraging others to take up a new skill without knowledge of the underlying principles.

One could argue that this is a prime example of technology searching for a use, rather than allowing the evolution of something that wasn't possible beforehand. Fun it may be, but a map and remarkable trust in the action which the earth has over metal will lead you to <20m of any point and is arguably more challenging.

No insults intended, just curiosity.

No insults intended, just curiosity.

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Guest Moun10Bike

This is my own view that I posted in the UK forum (where this topic started):

 

What was it that brought you to this site to begin with? Was it perhaps an interest in the technology as well as an interest in the outdoors? That's what attracted me.

 

Sure, you can find locations more precisely with map and compass and you can find great outdoor locations more efficiently by reading a guidebook, but there's more to geocaching than those things taken separately. This activity really has a basis in technology, as evidenced by the way it began -- on an Internet newsgroup, the way it is maintained -- a great web site, and the tools used -- a GPS unit linked to a multi-billion dollar satellite constellation. All of this technology is then employed to pursue one of mankind's oldest desires -- navigating his way through unknown territory. For some of us, it is a great marriage of old and new, both modern and romantic, and a heck of a lot of fun. For others, I'm sure it's not, but then they are free to explore other interests.

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Guest jeremy

There are folks who do use UTM coordinates and compasses to seek out and find caches. Some who use neither and find the cache based on the hints on the web site (and some are pretty easy).

 

Think of it as easing folks into orienteering, going outdoors, and burning some calories. Some people need motivation and this does it for them. Others (the climbers and such) use it as an excuse to try out something new (scuba, whitewater rafting, etc).

 

I'd have to say that the majority of folks who can handle a GPS have the common sense to make some preparation before doing a hunt, just like the majority of hikers, campers, etc. The majority of caches are level 1's (read: easy!) so those become easter egg hunts for the kids (which means they're too busy trying to find the cache than whine about how tired they are).

 

Bottom line is - different strokes for different folks. I'd probably ask the same "what's the point" question for folks that, say, ballroom dance, or collect fly reels. It's all distractions and entertainment.

 

Jeremy

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Guest puzzled

Jeremy-thanks. Human variety is a marvel, but 'we just do it' fails to allow a deeper understanding either by the participants, or by others who could be encouraged to share in the enjoyment to be had. It risks marginalising people, and can't be seen as a justification for all pursuits that history has witnessed.

'Maps are for whimps'- is that a viewpoint that eases folks into excercising personal responsibility when outdoors? (maybe written toungue-in-cheek, but perhaps a bit more telling). I would agree that if it gets someone outside who wouldn't otherwise, then that's good, but does the narrow focus on GPS loose the overall picture?

The children arguement is however, quite appealing!

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Guest Gweebaroo

We actually incorporate climbing, mountain biking , and 4X4's into some of our current caches. It is a great expansion on current hobbies. Being that our schedules vary so much, often we can't hike on the weekends...but we can get together and chase after a cache late at night. This week we hiked in the rain with headlamps on. I'd have never gone for that hike without a goal of some sort.

 

------------------

Garmin ETrex Summit / DeLorme Topo 2.0

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Guest Mike_Teague

eed technology looking for a purpose.. That's probably why alot of us started. The game was created because of GPS, and GPS recievers were of limited usefulness before SA was turned off.. We suddenly had something to do with these things that was truly impressive.

 

The map and compass crowd has always had letterboxing and orienteering... Geocaching started with the idea of the only thing truly necessary to find a cache was a set of coordinates and a GPS reciever.. A new way to do the same thing..

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Guest robanna

In another forum you stated "I'm all for GPS as a navigational tool, just that such focus on it as a means to an end seems to lose the overall picture."

 

I'll bet this same same argument was made when people strated using a compass to orient themselves. Can you think of a better way to learn the art of navigating with a GPS unit then this game?

 

Also, "Maps are for Wimps" I'm sure was written toungue in cheek. I had used only a map and compass to find some of the easier caches.

 

I guess that if you don't find a scavenger hunt fun then nothing we say will change your mind.

 

You said "I would agree that if it gets someone outside who wouldn't otherwise, then that's good, but does the narrow focus on GPS loose the overall picture?"

What do YOU see as the overall picture?

 

* It's a Game and should be fun! *

 

Whatever else you can take away from it (getting outdoors, learning to respect the outdoors, navigation skills) is a bonus!

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Guest Pat Patterson

quote:
Originally posted by puzzled:

Fun it may be, but a map and remarkable trust in the action which the earth has over metal will lead you to <20m of any point and is arguably more challenging.


Yes but you cant youse a map and compas at a dead run for 3/4 of a mile in heavy underbrush and just to make it challenging It was at night with a less than adiquit flashlight. even tho I didn't find the cache I did get some exersise that I've been mening to get for the last 3 years icon_redface.gif) < note the enviroment in my area could handle 30 people a day for about 3 months before you would be able to find a path. the ones made by the school kids near the cache grow over every year. if your in a sensitive area DONT leave the trail. untill your gps say dist .01 mile and try to watch what you step on.>

Pat Patterson.

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Guest Pat Patterson

quote:
Originally posted by puzzled:

Fun it may be, but a map and remarkable trust in the action which the earth has over metal will lead you to <20m of any point and is arguably more challenging.


Yes but you cant youse a map and compas at a dead run for 3/4 of a mile in heavy underbrush and just to make it challenging It was at night with a less than adiquit flashlight. even tho I didn't find the cache I did get some exersise that I've been mening to get for the last 3 years icon_redface.gif) < note the enviroment in my area could handle 30 people a day for about 3 months before you would be able to find a path. the ones made by the school kids near the cache grow over every year. if your in a sensitive area DONT leave the trail. untill your gps say dist .01 mile and try to watch what you step on.>

Pat Patterson.

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Guest puzzled

Thanks all.

I'm neither picking an arguement nor looking to have my mind changed, but the point about marginalisation remains. To create boundaries with 'the map and compass crowd' enforces this view, and marginalisation inevitably reduces wider interest in the pursuit. If your keen to increase participants, and increase the number of caches, then surely you need to argue its appeal with a wider audience. What if I was a journalist doing reseach, say??

As a means to expand current hobbies, there is a role, but that isn't a clear emphasis of geocaching.

And as offering a goal for people, some might argue about the appeal of an activity which needs to offer materialistic goods to encourage people to take part.

Which leads to a discussion on 'the art of navigating with a GPS unit'. If we're talking about art, then I still think you'll find richer pickings in exploring the developement of navigation through maps, than in relying on a GPS 'box' which tells you faultlessly in which direction to travel.

And geocaching is really about mapping. Show me someone with no underlying knowledge of space and its representation who follows a GPS for direction. If that's then the case, then why not encompass mapping into geocaching, rather than trying to split it off as a pursuit seperate (and marginalised) in itself?

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Guest Moun10Bike

Okay, explain the point of cricket to me -- THEN I'll try to explain the point of geocaching!

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Guest Alex

Moun10Bike, Cricket is LIFE!!! Cricket is SPIRIT!!! Cricket is CRICKET!!! Cricket IS!!!!!

 

However, puzzled, while I accept that geocaching may appeal to many who lack the fundamental map reading and compass skills I cannot accept that this means our pastime is a bad thing. Every use of new technology throughout history has inevitably made the previous skills redundant - do you still use a sextant or astrolabe?, I don't (never did actually).

It will be a pity that people will lose or never learn what we now regard as essential navigating skills but in some future forum people will probably be nostalgically decrying the loss of the 'traditional' GPS art. Such is progress.

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Guest puzzled

Commiserations about losing 'The Don', Alex.

I've not judged geocaching as 'bad'. I'm exploring (amongst other things) the question of emphasis, and whether the emphasis needs to be widened. This is clear from the Q. about losing technology as it is superceded. A sextant was indispensable on an open sea with no land reference. It's use depended on the graphical representation of space (maps) and each was useless without the other. GPS is superceding other methods at sea for the same reason, but its use on land, relegates the physical reference of the land. If anything, it reduces peoples appreciation of their environment, not raise it, because they no longer need to rely on such landmarks. Running through a wood at night characterises this approach.

I'm not saying you don't enjoy it. Many don't enjoy watching cricket, but only those who truly love and understand their sport can inspire others and spread the word. Just saying 'Cricket's Gods chosen sport' won't entice many people to try it, likewise geocaching.

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Guest Glyndwr

d - one of many - to navigation. There are many places where it doesn't work and you have to fall back on distance & direction. And while many an open ocean sailor will primarily use GPS because it is quick, accurate and reliable, it would be a foolish person that sailed into an ocean without knowing how to find their position using other methods - and without having the facilities to do so. GPS breaks. GPS runs out of batteries. Sextants don't need batteries.

 

This is all a bit off-thread....surprised no-one has mentioned the vicarious enjoyment of actually filling and placing caches; the thought that (can) go into selecting somewhere to place them. As the recent BBC online article about the sport said, it's more of a 'thought' sport than many.

 

And yes, it gets geeks into the sunlight .

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Guest puzzled

Thankfully we're not yet being overun by pastey-looking geeks holding black boxes and squinting at the light of day.

 

I agree generally with that Glyndwr. My points have not just focussed on bemoaning the loss of some skills. More that using GPS actually relies on these skills, as it does on the use of maps, as a sextant does on charts. Does no-one else see a problem with encouraging such a narrow focus on GPS, and in not opening peoples' eyes to the richness of techniques on which navigation relies?

 

I've made the point before, but if people typed well, but held a pen clumsily, then gradually they would lose the joy of opening a written letter from a close friend. Using GPS in this way attracts 'bullet-point' thinkers, unable or unwilling to invest time in discovering more subtle rewards.

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Guest Glyndwr

Puzzled - are you new to it ? See my posts on the UK thread....and email me; think we're on the same wavelength.

 

Here in the UK we're not being over-run by anyone ! (Though if you wanted to be po faced about this thread then one could make a point about GPS tempting the ill-equipped into the British hills, which might be small and fairly cosy looking by world standards, but which have an unpleasant habit of biting the unwary.... (and I also take your point; there's little point in knowing what your 8 figure grid is if you don't have a map and if you don't know how to read that map.)

 

[This message has been edited by Glyndwr (edited 03-09-2001).]

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Guest puzzled

That was my thread from the UK forum.

I looked at the pieces on using a GPS with compass. I suppose much of what I've said is covering old ground, but it's broader than simply a 'which gadget is the best' arguement.

Our hills don't tower up that high, but reliance on GPS whilst hill-walking would be simply dangerous. It will (usually) give an accurate fix, but it won't orientate a map correctly. It may work in fog, but it can't tell you where a footpath lies. Not taking a map would be negligent, especially if you had responsibilty for others, not to mention the cost to the rescue services.

Perhaps I'm searching for a change in tone from those that promote geosearching. 'GPS- a great back-up, but not the real thing'.

 

Couldn't find your email on your profile.

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Guest jeremy

quote:

As a means to expand current hobbies, there is a role, but that isn't a clear emphasis of geocaching.


 

Interesting. Should I turn off the lights and go home?

 

Besides the tongue-in-cheek, you break any kind of thing into its component parts and you tend to remove what it's all about.

 

Your comment about materialism is sort of an outsider looking in mentality. I'd say 95% of geocachers (the other 5% being kids) enjoy the thrill of the hunt over any actual prize. It's the logbook which is the most enjoyable for me - and I'd say most others as well. Although I do value my spinning Tazmanian Devil pen, I would probably survive without it. icon_wink.gif

 

Adding, say, GPS units to Letterboxing would go against the predefined culture of the sport, so Geocaching becomes a sport in its own right.

 

Jeremy

 

[This message has been edited by jeremy (edited 03-09-2001).]

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Guest jeremy

quote:

As a means to expand current hobbies, there is a role, but that isn't a clear emphasis of geocaching.


 

Interesting. Should I turn off the lights and go home?

 

Besides the tongue-in-cheek, you break any kind of thing into its component parts and you tend to remove what it's all about.

 

Your comment about materialism is sort of an outsider looking in mentality. I'd say 95% of geocachers (the other 5% being kids) enjoy the thrill of the hunt over any actual prize. It's the logbook which is the most enjoyable for me - and I'd say most others as well. Although I do value my spinning Tazmanian Devil pen, I would probably survive without it. icon_wink.gif

 

Adding, say, GPS units to Letterboxing would go against the predefined culture of the sport, so Geocaching becomes a sport in its own right.

 

Jeremy

 

[This message has been edited by jeremy (edited 03-09-2001).]

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Guest Moun10Bike

quote:
Originally posted by puzzled:

I'm exploring (amongst other things) the question of emphasis, and whether the emphasis needs to be widened.


 

I'll admit that I don't understand why you feel the scope needs to be widened. As I wrote in the UK forum, it's missing the point to minimize GPS involvement in the game, or switch focus from it. That is specifically what the game is about. If technology changes to the point that GPS is obsolete, then the game will change as well.

 

quote:
If anything, it reduces peoples appreciation of their environment, not raise it, because they no longer need to rely on such landmarks.

 

I disagree with this. Anything that encourages people to get out of doors can only be a positive for the environment. There is a high correlation between outdoor-oriented lifestyle and GPS usage that cannot be ignored, plus it exposes "newbies" to things that they might not otherwise confront, such as coordinates, grids, and 2D representation of the land around them (especially on the mapping units).

 

quote:
...only those who truly love and understand their sport can inspire others and spread the word. Just saying 'Cricket's Gods chosen sport' won't entice many people to try it, likewise geocaching.

 

One can only inspire another to give something a chance and try it for himself. It is the first-person exposure to the sport that makes one passionate about it.

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Guest Glyndwr

Puzzled - now I'm puzzled, as I see that my email isn't on my profile (& it should be....! It certainly is when I go in to edit it...) Anyway, it's cacheone74@hotmail.com.

 

Cheers.

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Guest Markwell

I, too, am fairly new to Geocaching, but I'm getting into it purely for the edification of my 5 year old boy. This summer, his family in the Chicago area, and his grandparents in Chattanooga, will be taking little suburban boy out into the wilderness hiking, learning directions, learning to read maps, learning the "2D" representation, etc., all with not only the hopes of a small prize, but with the altruistic idea of leaving something for someone else who will visit it in the future. What a GREAT educational experience (and relatively free since Grandma is buying the GPS).

 

And who's to say I won't enjoy it right along with him. I'm outside in the wilderness, with a little technological help, hoping to find a well placed cache that has a significant meaning for the indivdual that placed it.

 

Point? So many things in life have no point to some and a great meaning to others. Me, I watch the Superbowl only for the commercials, have never sat through an entire World Series or NBA championship, and can't see why anyone would smack a little white ball with a club around a golf course. But I do enjoy camping, hiking, rafting, and technology. The glorious thing about our civilization is for those who find and interest, there is usually and avenue to pursue that interest - even though to others, there may be no point.

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Guest mcb

Personally I always take a topo map and compass with me, especial if I am going into unfamiliar terrain. That is just good common sense. But the reason I got involved with geocaching was my fascination with GPS technology. I had owned a GPS for several years before SA was turn off and the inception of geocaching. I used it for hiking, hunting, and vehicle navigation. When geocaching came along it really appealed to me. It was something I could do with my GPS that focused on the GPS and there was "treasure" to be found (I have come to find that the real treasure here is just the hunt but I still like exchanging trinkets). I always take a map and compass, but I really like it when I use only the GPS to find the cache (Ok I might use the compass a little when I get close and need a heading icon_smile.gif ). The original point of geocaching was sort of a celebration that Slick Willie did at least one good thing as president and that was turning off Selective Availability early. It make sense to know how to use a map and compass and for safety's sake take them along, but if your going to be a "geocaching purist" then you should leave them in your pocket.

 

I love maps and frequent topozone's website all the time. The local backpacking shops here in Cleveland don't have a good selection of USGS quads. I own several mapping software packages for my computer. I also am in the process of making my own map of the farm my father owns. So I have nothing against maps but that's not the point of geocaching. The original name of the game when it came into existence on May 3, 2000 was GPS-stash. The geocaching name eventually won favor but I still think that GPS-stash in a word tells you the focus of the game.

 

Please don't take this as intolerance of any map and compass discussions on the bulletin board. We have had several threads in the past and I bet there will be more, but the game started as a geek activity and I am afraid that is were the focus is, a geek and his gadget.

 

This is just my opinion and with the explosion of geocaching in the last couple of months I am sure this game is different things to different people. We are all a pretty tolerant bunch and I sure if you would like to spin off a group that is interested in hunting for caches with only map and compass then I bet you will find enough people out there that might give it a try. I would probably even be game, but the founding focus of geocaching I think is to hide something mark it with you GPS and someone else find it with their GPS.

 

Later

mcb

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Guest mcb

Personally I always take a topo map and compass with me, especial if I am going into unfamiliar terrain. That is just good common sense. But the reason I got involved with geocaching was my fascination with GPS technology. I had owned a GPS for several years before SA was turn off and the inception of geocaching. I used it for hiking, hunting, and vehicle navigation. When geocaching came along it really appealed to me. It was something I could do with my GPS that focused on the GPS and there was "treasure" to be found (I have come to find that the real treasure here is just the hunt but I still like exchanging trinkets). I always take a map and compass, but I really like it when I use only the GPS to find the cache (Ok I might use the compass a little when I get close and need a heading icon_smile.gif ). The original point of geocaching was sort of a celebration that Slick Willie did at least one good thing as president and that was turning off Selective Availability early. It make sense to know how to use a map and compass and for safety's sake take them along, but if your going to be a "geocaching purist" then you should leave them in your pocket.

 

I love maps and frequent topozone's website all the time. The local backpacking shops here in Cleveland don't have a good selection of USGS quads. I own several mapping software packages for my computer. I also am in the process of making my own map of the farm my father owns. So I have nothing against maps but that's not the point of geocaching. The original name of the game when it came into existence on May 3, 2000 was GPS-stash. The geocaching name eventually won favor but I still think that GPS-stash in a word tells you the focus of the game.

 

Please don't take this as intolerance of any map and compass discussions on the bulletin board. We have had several threads in the past and I bet there will be more, but the game started as a geek activity and I am afraid that is were the focus is, a geek and his gadget.

 

This is just my opinion and with the explosion of geocaching in the last couple of months I am sure this game is different things to different people. We are all a pretty tolerant bunch and I sure if you would like to spin off a group that is interested in hunting for caches with only map and compass then I bet you will find enough people out there that might give it a try. I would probably even be game, but the founding focus of geocaching I think is to hide something mark it with you GPS and someone else find it with their GPS.

 

Later

mcb

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Guest WrongWay

Jeremy, you're fooling yourself:

 

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

I'd say 95% of geocachers (the other 5% being kids)


 

You've turned us all into 100% kids again...Ha !

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Guest BigFig

Hey - whatever floats your boat. I think the range of folks runs from the hard-core navigation junkies to someone who just bought a GPS and thinks this might be fun. There's room for everyone here. It's my excuse to get into the woods. I own an embarassing collection of compasses, maps, Loran C receivers (a dismal tool on land), sextants (which I struggle to use) and such.

I CAN find a spot in a dead run with a map and compass (think terrain association). I don't even know how to set a waypoint in my GPS - I use it to fix a position on a topo and go. Boy, I sure like a GPS when it's dark or cloud cover is heavy. Heck, it's all fun and there's room for everyone. Let's not make distinctions between a mappie and a GPSie.

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

Basicaly it comes down to this... GPS is a tool, one of many available. I use all I have available sailing,and will Geocaching as well...

( once the weather breaks )

 

Gotta add this...

 

From the postings I've seen, this is an addition to hiking around. It gives a goal set up in usually nice areas you many not know about. Most people here seem to have a wilderness clue, so I doubt we'll see too many agorophobic techno-geeks wandering the woods.

On a down-side (ugh!), with a good economy, people have $ to spend, and may not have a clue about hiking, environment etc. I see this alot on the water, Someone who can afford a boat can just drop some money and go tear-assing around without a clue. I tend to work and avoid the weekend warriors now. I see people go out without charts, compass, even radios!

Be Prepared ! (bring extra batteries)

 

[This message has been edited by Cape Cod Cache (edited 03-10-2001).]

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Guest iceman01

think they compliment each other.

 

The kids do start the oh no, not hiking again. I wanna stay home and play nintendo or whatever. This gives them a goal. And they look forward to hiking every weekend again.

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Guest Hunter

I began using a GPS to mark locations for deer hunting in New England. I can use my GPS to walk straight to my stand at 4am. Much tougher to do with a compass and with the number of bright eyes in the woods using a flashlight lights the place up like Logan Airport. Not many things we do for rec have much of a point except fun...

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Guest TheUnreal

I think geocaching is great.

When I heard about it I bought a GPS and have already placed 2 caches.

Bevore placing a cache though I look at maps of the area I whant to place it in on the web.

I think maps are very usefull, but are just a burden if the cache is only about 5-10 miles away from a town.

That means that I dont look carefully at a map bevore I go anyplace I don't know...

I wouldn't like to go further than 15 miles from a town or known point without a map.

 

[This message has been edited by TheUnreal (edited 03-10-2001).]

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Guest Hamster

Puzzled:

I think perhaps your point of confusion is one of motivation. We geocachers are not "purists." We don't have an agenda. There really is no great social purpose to the game.

I had a GPS device, and liked hiking about in the woods, but I never enjoyed Orienteering. The GPS-Stash served for me as orienteering-lite. I enjoy that connection to the other cachers who plant and find cachers (through the clever things they put in caches) and the like.

 

Call me a geek, but Geocaching motivated me to go out hunting in the woods in the dead of an ohio winter... nothing else so far has motivated me like that. I don't know why, you'd probably need an Anthropologist or Sociologist to answer that question. Just keep in mind, we have no great social agenda. Geocaching is the result of a confluence of technologies (GPS, WEB, GIS etc) and just sortof "is." The popularity of the sport kind of speaks for itself.... Something is driving us.

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Guest puzzled

Thanks All,

 

My intention was always to explore the motivations behind geocaching. I believe its important to challenge one's own assumptions and those of others to explore these underlying motivations. Thanks for the feedback.

I agree that by reducing many endeavours (such as sports) into individual components, one loses a sense of the whole. It remains necessary to do this, both as an exercise in itself, but also to make complex ideas easier to follow. Look at any theory in physics or math(s) as a whole and the steps in deriving it are lost.

I accept that using a GPS receiver outside is fun. Most respondents here and elsewhere state the importance of using a map as well, and if the number of people who take up navigating because of this increases, then that can only be good. There remains a risk of only half-learning these skills though. Quality vs. Quantity. More people knowing these skills less well is a difficult trade off to justify, since it would inevitably lead to people venturing out less well prepared rather than moreso.

Finally, the involvement of people in a hunt for cache is an expression of instinct which geocaching can encourage, for the better. Unfortunatly for us in the UK, it looks like the choice of hunting for real is to be taken from us. Perhaps geocaching could be offered to the many thousands who would lose this particular sport...!

 

And really lastly, never accept 'it just is'. Even faith needs challenging, and that's about as 'is' as it becomes (Ok maybe cricket a close second).

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Guest will_m

Here is a funny light hearted way of putting it. Has anyone seen the Blair Witch Project? Remember the scenes where they kept going to the same place cause of their map? Remember they had no idea how much further they had to go to the first burial site? Now with a GPS unit, they can have more confidence and hopefully make it back ot their camp site or car baring any interference by super natural beings bent on killing everyone on film. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Seems simple doesn't it?

 

I got into GPS units cause I like maps and off roading in a Jeep.

 

 

------------------

Will

Now where the hell am I?

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Guest will_m

Here is a funny light hearted way of putting it. Has anyone seen the Blair Witch Project? Remember the scenes where they kept going to the same place cause of their map? Remember they had no idea how much further they had to go to the first burial site? Now with a GPS unit, they can have more confidence and hopefully make it back ot their camp site or car baring any interference by super natural beings bent on killing everyone on film. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Seems simple doesn't it?

 

I got into GPS units cause I like maps and off roading in a Jeep.

 

 

------------------

Will

Now where the hell am I?

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Guest jeremy

quote:
Originally posted by will_m:

Now with a GPS unit, they can have more confidence and hopefully make it back ot their camp site or car barring any interference by super natural beings bent on killing everyone on film


 

Using Hollywood logic, the GPS unit batteries would have gone missing, been dropped and broken, or just plain wouldn't work. Then they would have had to rely on their compass - bad news icon_wink.gif

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Guest jeremy

quote:
Originally posted by will_m:

Now with a GPS unit, they can have more confidence and hopefully make it back ot their camp site or car barring any interference by super natural beings bent on killing everyone on film


 

Using Hollywood logic, the GPS unit batteries would have gone missing, been dropped and broken, or just plain wouldn't work. Then they would have had to rely on their compass - bad news icon_wink.gif

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Guest Ultralight

to go just 3 Kms.

 

My point is geocaching is more than just finding a cache, it has provided a means to expand on current outdoor activities camping, finding locations you would have never heard of, and my 4x4 example.

Sometime it can actually provide a situation that allows you to perform some rather unusual navigation excercises, Image, you are trecking through the bush (on a trail) following the "arrow" only to find just 1 mile from the cache, a mighty river, or a cliff is blocking your intended path. The GPS wont tell you how to navigate around it!

this is what i believe Geocaching to be. an expansion on you outdoor activities. GPS units, Aircraft, a parachute,and a cache! now where getting serious!

 

NB, to Jeremy, would it be possable to activate the function that shows total members registed, so we have an idea of how big this is getting? just a thought

 

thanks

 

[This message has been edited by Ultralight (edited 03-19-2001).]

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Guest will_m

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

Using Hollywood logic, the GPS unit batteries would have gone missing, been dropped and broken, or just plain wouldn't work. Then they would have had to rely on their compass - bad news icon_wink.gif


 

No according to the Hollyword logic, the batteries would have exploded into maggots, the screen would spew satanic messages, the GPS would say it would be about 2000' under the surface and the temp would be about 1,000,000 degrees. icon_biggrin.gif Plus, something about the basemap being 20 years old. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

Also, the compass would be spinning like a top.

 

 

------------------

Will

Now where the hell am I?

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Guest will_m

quote:
Originally posted by jeremy:

Using Hollywood logic, the GPS unit batteries would have gone missing, been dropped and broken, or just plain wouldn't work. Then they would have had to rely on their compass - bad news icon_wink.gif


 

No according to the Hollyword logic, the batteries would have exploded into maggots, the screen would spew satanic messages, the GPS would say it would be about 2000' under the surface and the temp would be about 1,000,000 degrees. icon_biggrin.gif Plus, something about the basemap being 20 years old. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

Also, the compass would be spinning like a top.

 

 

------------------

Will

Now where the hell am I?

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Guest Alex

And of course, the female lead would get her ankle caught in the tree root

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Guest RXQ

Here my take on gps.

 

I find it fascinating that you can hold a device that tells you where you are in the world, what direction you took to get there and how you get back. I am an old map and compass man myself. I can look at a topo map and have a feeling of what the terrain looks before I get there. When I walk through the woods I use my map and compass skills rather than translating coordinates from the gps to the maps. There are two things that I like about the gps that I find useful in land navigation. One, is tell you how far you have walked. I hate counting steps and in rugged terrain it's hard to know what your speed is. The other is that gps tells you when you are there. I have been caching in a different way. I like to look at a topo map and say " There's a pond that's a mile off the trail let see what it looks like." With gps you punch in the coordinates and it tell you that you are getting closer and that you are there.

 

As for technology replacing skills, it happens all the time. How many people can start a fire or hunt, kill, and dress an animal. How many of us need to do that now?

 

I went to see the tall ships in Boston this summer and I had talked to different sailors on different ships about gps and they loved it, but it was what a greek sailor said to me, that impress me. He told me that he liked gps but they still had to learn to use a sextant. "After all what do you do if the power goes out?" So I asked him,"What do you do if the power goes out and it night and you're caught in a bad storm and can't see the stars?"

"PRAY"

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Guest fiser

I geocache to show people places.

 

So many special views, hidden corners, and quiet places are worth sharing. Geocaching is a simple way of using curiosity to share the world with someone.

 

I don't think it matters how you get there, only that you go.

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Guest stinky

I think geocashing provides a fun way to play with my new toy. Map and compass is fine, but the compass is obsolete.

 

I used to do calculations on a slide rule. The only slide rules you find now are in museums, because the calculator replaced them . I can't even find my calculator, because now I do all my complex calculations by downloading an algorithym to my computer.

 

I used to own a typewriter too.

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Guest bpuetz

At the risk of showing my age, many of the arguments I see here are virtually the same as when we were transitioning from slide rules to calculators. (Yes, I even used to carry mine in a belt holster -- I've been in electronics and computers since the late 60's. Yikes!) I even worried for a bit that everyone would learn to use a calculator but not learn the underlying principles involved and so would somehow be deficient.

 

In actual fact, they are all simply tools -- compasses, gps, slide rules, and calculators. If you get some enjoyment from the process, then pick what appeals and have fun. If your enjoyment is in attaining the end result, then simply select the most efficient tool.

 

For myself, the appeal is in discovering and hiding the caches and seeing places that I never saw before. I want the process to be as simple as possible so I can spend most of my time enjoying the outdoors. Since I don't yet have a GPS and haven't yet been on a search, this is just theory for me so far, though.

 

Bill

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Guest puzzled

s tedious and slower using fingers. A slide-rule is slower and less versatile for some calculations. So what does GPS offer that supercedes maps? It gives distance travelled more quickly &c. &c. but it doesn't give the 'big picture' like a map can. It's a different tool, not a comparable one, to be used as an adjunct rather than a means to an end.

 

I blame it on Nintendo. Gratification with minimal outlay, like surfing the internet or reading trashy books. GPS appeals to those who can't quite leave the Nintendo at home, and have to have the low energy fix it offers.

 

As for showing people interesting places, why not open up a book or talk to friends- you'll find it more effecient, unless of course, you ARE actually interested in the process of exploring rather than in the arrival.

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Guest Moun10Bike

quote:
Originally posted by puzzled:

Most would agree that's it's not the arriving, it's the getting there that makes travel fulfilling.


 

From your comments, I have to assume that you have not actually geocached before. A person does not fire up their GPS and walk straight to the cache. I have NEVER experienced this. It always boils down to plotting a point on a map and then trying to determine the best way to get to that point.

 

quote:
So what does GPS offer that supercedes maps?

 

Again, from these comments, it doesn't appear that you ever geocached before. In no way are we using GPS in place of maps. In fact, every cache page (in the US) displays a map of the cache location. I always use a USGS 7.5 minute map of the area for reference when I hunt a cache, and I use a compass to help me zero in on the location. But even if someone does go at it without maps, what of it?

 

quote:
I blame it on Nintendo. Gratification with minimal outlay, like surfing the internet or reading trashy books.

 

Blame WHAT on Nintendo? Getting people interested in technology AND the outdoors? This comment is quite insulting and demeaning, and rather than showing insight on your part, it shows a complete and utter lack of understanding and disregard for the interests of others. Why do you find it necessary to insult?

 

quote:
As for showing people interesting places, why not open up a book or talk to friends- you'll find it more effecient, unless of course, you ARE actually interested in the process of exploring rather than in the arrival.

 

As a matter of fact, most of us ARE more interested in the exploring. We are telling people that point X is a neat place to go. It is up to them to determine how to get there.

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Guest jeremy

quote:
Originally posted by puzzled:

chum chum chum...


 

Puzzled, to answer your question, you are correct on all counts. If I could tote my Nintendo into the woods and play on my foldable tv, I would. In fact, if I could have some kind of portable bubble that keeps the temperature around me at a cool 75 degrees and keeps the rain off my head, I'd do that, while robots carry me around on a well padded divan.

 

Now that you mention it, it is easy to play Geocaching. All I do is turn on the GPS unit and walk straight to the item. It's really a conspiracy - It's actually that easy. Sometimes I turn on the special "levitate" button and hover over the forest so no obstacle gets in my way.

 

I'm actually an ape, to be honest. I use small pencils gripped in my big ape hands to type emails. I'm actually illiterate too, and use symbols I tap to write this.

 

Thanks for your extremely helpful comments. Next time I'm swinging from my rope swing and playing nintendo with my GPS, I'll think about how you enlightened me.

 

Jeremy

ook ook

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Guest fiser

Nintendo is not to blame. It's these d@mn opposable thumbs.

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Guest easom1
eek.gif I sont see any reference here to the fact that the higher end gps units have maps built in. I could be abducted by aliens, then dropped off 1500 miles from home and as long as I had a clear view of part of the sky I could turn my gps on and not only have a scaleable map but I would know where I was and would know my way home from there as well. Probably wont happen but lets say you were hiking then for some weird reason you found yourself in some strange place. would you rather have a map of Joebob South Dakota or a gps unit. I will take the gps unit every time. Easom

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Guest Peter Scholtz

Since 1984 I haven't done any sport except walking to pubs.

 

I stare into a computer screen everyday, the whole day. At night I watch TV on another computer.

 

Geocaching got me to do stuff I never would.

 

Technology (gadgets) opens up more entertainment to the lazy ...

 

------------------

Regards

 

Peter Scholtz

www.biometrics.co.za

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